Friday, May 13, 2022

What Part Of The Brain Controls Impulse

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How Do Nerves Communicate

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Nerve cells communicate by using electrical signals. Dendrites, the widely branched portion of the neuron, receive signals from other neurons and then transmit them over a thin cell extension — the axon — to other nerve cells. Axon and dendrites are usually interconnected by the neuron’s cell body.

Proactive And Reactive Inhibitory Control

Besides the division into its various components, impulse control can be distinguished by different control strategies, according to the dual mechanisms of control model . Attention, perception, thoughts, and actions are controlled proactively or reactively, depending on the usage of prior knowledge and cues that navigate the expectation level of upcoming events. On a behavioral level, highly predictive cues and sustained active maintenance of task goals permit the proactive execution or inhibition of actions whereas unexpected salient stimuli implement reactive behavioral control. In contrast to reactive control, proactive control should enable facilitated, more selective, and more accurate actions, protect from distracting, goal-irrelevant stimuli, and be favorable to protect the individual from actions that are potentially harmful to the self and/or others. However, proactive control is limited by its reliance upon the presence of highly predictive contextual cues, its high sustained metabolic demand to actively maintain goal-relevant information, and its limited capacity since only a small number of goals can be actively maintained . The latter feature of proactive control suggests a close linkage to working memory capacity and fluid intelligence . Indeed, there is evidence for an association between higher fluid intelligence and stronger proactive control as well as between age- and disease-related decline of working memory capacity and diminished proactive control .

Frontal Lobes And Addiction

Naltrexone increases activation of Orbital Frontal Cortex

The left panel shows the effect of naltrexone on brain activity, as measured by fMRI, during decisions between small, immediate and larger, delayed rewards. Activity was increased following acute administration of 50 mg of Naltrexone relative to administration of placebo . Lower plot shows the mean activity in the orbitofrontal cortex site indicated by the green circle in the image above as a function of drug condition. Right panel provides orientation as to the location of the orbitofrontal cortex within the brain. Plot reflects mean ± S.D. L, left hemisphere.

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Prefrontal Cortex Functioning Underlying Components Of Impulse Control In Bpd

Although impulsivity is a clinical, diagnostic, and pathophysiological hallmark of BPD only few neuroimaging studies have investigated disturbed impulse control in patients with BPD. Most of these studies have focused on the emotional modulation of impulse control as emotional dysregulation has been shown to interact with impulse control especially for BPD-salient emotions whereas experimental paradigms assessing emotionally neutral impulse control in BPD have revealed rather weak and inconsistent results .

Prefrontal Dysfunctions In Bpd Associated With Delayed Discounting

Lecture 19 central nervous system (a)

Only few studies up to now have assessed delay discounting in BPD. Two of these studies resulted in increased preference for immediate over delayed reward in patients with BPD . Coffey et al. however, report increased preference for immediate over delayed reward only in patients with BPD with current or past substance use disorder, but not in patients with BPD without substance abuse. In contrast to other components of impulse control, deficient information sampling and delay discounting do not appear to be modulated by negative emotions in BPD .

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Frontal Lobes And Goal

The prefrontal cortex , including orbitofrontal gyri and the anterior cingulated cortex, are important for executive functions. The PFC is defined as the projection region of the medial dorsal thalamus that includes dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex , anterior cingulated cortex , and orbital frontal cortex . When properly functioning, the frontal lobes equip individuals with the capacity to use past experience and knowledge to make sense of current behavior and to guide future selection of responses from their behavioral repertoire . The frontal lobes are commonly divided into five parallel, though interacting, subcircuits: motor, oculomotor, dorsolateral, orbitofrontal, and anterior cingulate . The dorsolateral prefrontal circuit underlies executive function, which includes the control of attention, as well as the sustained organization of behavior to solve complex problems . The dlPFC is essential to draw attention to important factors and to actively select goals . The medial prefrontal/cingulate circuit is critical for feedback monitoring and motivation, with lesions producing profound apathy . The dlPFC and OFC is associated with behavioral regulation owing to its unique capacity to maintain and integrate sensory, affective, and associative information . These functions allow representation of expected outcomes, information that can in turn be used to guide behavior .

What Part Of The Brain Controls Vision

The brain consists of four main segments called lobes. The frontal lobe up front, the parietal lobe on top, the temporal lobe on bottom and the occipital lobe pulling up the rear. All of our senses, thoughts and actions start in one of these lobes.

Most visual functions are controlled in the occipital lobe, a small section of the brain near the back of the skull. But processing eyesight is no simple task, so other parts of the brain have to pitch in too.

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Prefrontal Dysfunctions In Adhd Associated With Information Sampling

Studies assessing impulsive decision making in ADHD have largely used gambling and risk-taking paradigms. Poor decision making and inappropriate risk taking has been shown to reflect problems in both analytic/deliberate and affective neurocognitive systems . With respect to gambling behavior, ADHD symptoms have been shown to correlate with self-reported gambling behavior as well as performance in a computer-based gambling task . Regarding decision making, Mantyla et al. suggest that ADHD is associated with impaired decision making in tasks involving a significant degree of cognitive control and prefrontally mediated executive functions.

Adolescent Brain Development Represents A Critical Risk Period For Addiction

Inside the ADHD Brain: Impulsivity & Impulsive Behavior

The development illustrates the increased brain efficiency through focusing of cortical activity as brain circuits develop. The auditory cortex undergoes a developmental process that involves a progressive sharpening of frequency receptive fields during the maturation of the auditory cortex . The focal sharpening of cortical activation by sound likely corresponds with improved ability to identify specific tones essential for music and sequences of sounds essential for language. Thus, cortical development leads to increased efficiency and focus that is modified by the environment. Normal development allows the auditory cortex to focus sound and tonal discrimination. However, excessive white noise during the critical period of cortical development disrupts auditory cortex focal sharpening . Excessive noise during the critical period of auditory cortex development leads to persistent changes in cortical responsiveness, lack of tonal and temporal sharpening of responses and loss of higher order discrimination function, e.g. sounds do activate cortex, but focal specificity is lost . These findings indicate that environmental factors during adolescent critical periods of cortical development regulate the long term complex function of cortex. High alcohol consumption during adolescence may disrupt frontal cortical development similar to sound disruption of auditory cortex development.

Representative Cortical Frequency Maps of Characteristic Frequency Defined Cortical Responses

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Prefrontal Cortex Functioning Underlying Components Of Impulse Control In Adhd

Neuropsychological deficits in executive functions in children with ADHD have been shown to persist into adulthood, with the most consistent findings showing abnormalities in stimulus interference, response interference, and behavioral inhibition. These deficits have most consistently been linked to prefrontal dysfunctions especially in lateral prefrontal regions and the ACC . We will focus in the following sections on adult ADHD but we will also consider findings from childhood ADHD whenever no or too little studies on adult ADHD are available.

What Part Of The Brain Is Involved In Planning And Impulse Control

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Automatic Vs Controlled Processes/cognitive Control

Dual process theory states that mental processes operate in two separate classes: automatic and controlled. In general, automatic processes are those that are experiential in nature, occur without involving higher levels of cognition, and are based on prior experiences or informal heuristics. Controlled decisions are effortful and largely conscious processes in which an individual weighs alternatives and makes a more deliberate decision.

  • Automatic Process: Automatic processes have four main features. They occur unintentionally or without a conscious decision, the cost of the decision is very low in mental resources, they cannot be easily stopped, and they occur without conscious thought on the part of the individual making them.
  • Controlled Process: Controlled processes also have four main features that are very close to the opposite in spectrum from their automatic counterparts. Controlled processes occur intentionally, they require the expenditure of cognitive resources, the individual making the decision can stop the process voluntarily, and the mental process is a conscious one.

What Are The Parts Of The Brain

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Every second of every day the brain is collecting and sending out signals from and to the parts of your body. It keeps everything working even when we are sleeping at night. Here you can take a quick tour of this amazing control center. You can see each part and later learn what areas are involved with different tasks.

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What Part Of The Brain Controls Impulses

One of the defining characteristics of the human being is that it is an animal equipped with the ability to reason about its emotional impulses, imposing reason as the basis on which its actions are based in the world that unfolds in front of it.

This is why we delight in considering ourselves a rational animal.

With this, a differential line would be drawn with the rest of the creatures that populate the earth, often understood as slaves of instinct and the need to survive, feeling as something independent and different from the tissue that it forms the inherent nature of all living beings.

What is really true, despite this widespread belief, is that we do not always act in a rational or thoughtful way but on many occasions we allow ourselves to be carried away by the flow of our most primitive instincts.

There are even people who, in fact, react this way in almost all situations.

In this post we are going to answer the question What part of the brain controls impulses? We will identify the specific area in charge of self-control and we will explain to you what are the brain mechanisms under this function.

How The Eyes Communicate With The Brain

When we decide to look at something, a brainstem structure called the pons is called into action. It controls eye movement, constantly telling our eye muscles to move toward the correct stimulus of light .

When light enters the eye through the pupil, it strikes in the retina called rods and cones. Rod cells are responsible forperipheral vision and night vision, while cone cells react to brighter light, color and fine details.

When light hits its corresponding rod or cone, the cell activates, firing a nerve impulse through the optic nerve the middle man between the eye and the brain.

This impulse travels across countless nerve endings and eventually ends up with our pal the occipital lobe, where its processed and perceived as a visible image. This is eyesight.

Since an image isnt much help without meaning, the occipital lobe sends this visual information to the hippocampus in the temporal lobe. Here its stored as a memory.

All of this happens within the tiniest fraction of a second, allowing us to perceive the world in essentially real time.

The human brain is an incredibly complex web of neurons and synapses. And the more we understand about its mind-boggling ability to process and make sense of random collections of light, the more we can appreciate the equally complex world around us.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR BRAIN AND VISION? Talk to an eye doctor near you to schedule an appointment.

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Causes Of Impulsive Behavior

How we make decisions is a complex process. The cause of being impulsive may not always be evident.

People may also indulge in risky behavior for reasons other than impulsivity. Its also not uncommon to see impulsiveness in young children who havent developed self-control.

show that impulsivity may have something to do with the prefrontal lobe. Other research suggests an association between impulsivity and brain connectivity.

Researchers have a long way to go to fully understand the links between impulsivity and:

  • personality
  • brain connectivity
  • brain function

Physical conditions, such as brain lesions and stroke, can also lead to symptoms such as impulsive behavior.

Children Are Not Ready For Self

Brain Games for Impulse Control

We are trying to understand exactly how inhibition manifests itself, especially considering that many mental illnesses, such as mood disorders, typically occur in adulthood explains Dr. Gross indeed, a fascinating aspect of it concerns the maturation of the prefrontal cortex, which occurs in adolescence children, therefore, do not effectively inhibit their instincts and do not have this type of control .

We should keep this in mind when we demand from children behaviors that they are probably not capable of enduring.

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Summary Of Prefrontal Activation Patterns Of Impulse Control

Taken together, components of impulse control have been shown to rely on prefrontal regions including the VLPFC, DLPFC, IFJ, insula, OFC, as well as medial frontal regions such as the VMPFC, the ACC, and the pre-SMA. Whereas behavioral inhibition is associated with a right-lateralized prefrontal network, other impulse control components have been shown to rely on a bilateral or rather left-lateralized prefrontal network . One must note, however, that most of the tasks assessing stimulus interference , proactive interference , or delay gratification involve verbal material. With respect to proactive and reactive impulse control, it appears likely that proactive control is implemented by more rostral lateral PFC regions such as the DLPFC and reactive control is mediated by more caudal regions of lateral PFC such as the VLPFC.

Prefrontal Dysfunctions In Adhd Associated With Stimulus Interference

Patients with ADHD display increased stimulus interference as captured by Stroop tasks . Two fMRI studies have assessed neural correlates of deficient stimulus interference in adult ADHD. Banich et al. employed a mixed design during a classical computerized color-word Stroop task. Event-related analysis resulted in hypoactivation in the right VLPFC and ACC in patients with ADHD when contrasting incongruent to neutral trials. When comparing incongruent blocks to congruent or neutral blocks, patients with ADHD exhibited hyperactivation in the right DLPFC. The authors suggest that DLPFC hyperactivity resulting from the block-wise analysis might reflect top-down biasing of sustained attention in ADHD, whereas hypoactivation in the right VLPFC and ACC might rather reflect dysregulation of the resolution of stimulus interference at a transient, reactive attentional level. Error trials were excluded from the event-related analysis only. Therefore, differences in activation patterns may not only rely on differences in transient and sustained attention but also in differences in error processing . However, regions implicated in error processing are rather anterior insula and dorsal ACC than the DLPFC, which in turn has been implicated in working memory performance as well as in proactive inhibition . Increased DLPFC activity in patients with ADHD resulting from the block-wise analysis might hence indicate increased working memory demands or proactive stimulus interference.

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Is Impulsive Behavior A Disorder

Sometimes, impulsive behavior is part of an impulse control disorder or other mental health disorder. This may be the case when:

  • theres a pattern of impulsive behavior
  • youre unable to gain control over impulses
  • there are other signs and symptoms of mental illness

Acting on impulse is spontaneous. Theres no consideration to how it could affect others. Theres no wondering how youll feel about it later. Its just about the here and now.

Examples of this include:

Young children are often impulsive. Thats because they dont yet realize how their own behavior can affect others. They may not understand that their actions have consequences beyond their immediate wants.

Some examples of this are:

  • ignoring danger: running into the street without checking traffic or jumping into a pool even though they cant swim
  • interrupting: frequently butting into conversations
  • getting physical: pushing another child or throwing something when upset
  • grabbing: Taking what they want rather than asking or waiting for a turn
  • getting vocal: screaming or yelling in frustration

The Brain Has A Traffic Light That Controls Impulses


Dominating others is childs play, but mastering the mysterious forces of ones own heart is the work of the titans. The German Dominican priest Urban Plotzke warned. Why do some people manage to control and suppress their impulses better than others? What makes some titans capable of it? The answer, as almost always, must be sought in the brain and not in the heart.

Apparently the titans work better the brain semaphore, according to an article that has just been published in Current Biology. This traffic light is located in the prefrontal cortex, the one that allows us to have two fingers in front and count to ten so as not to react explosively.

The discovery of this peculiar traffic light has been carried out in rodents. But it is likely that a vital behavior throughout evolution, such as controlling impulses or not, is also conserved in our species. Although we can qualify it in a much more refined way than rodents.

Whether the brain responds to an external stimulus or not depends largely on the balance between the zones of excitement and the inhibition of the prefrontal cortex .

And it is the synaptic connections in the front part of the cerebral cortex that allow the brain to make a conscious decision about whether to react to a stimulus with movement or not, the authors explain. That is something that was already known.

This study, the researchers say, may be of particular importance for studying impulse control disorders.

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